The expectations I had for my first Ladyhawke show might have been a bit grandiose, but judging from her latest album Anxiety, they were wholly justifiable – but wrong. The ‘don’t-take-shit-from-nobody,’ in-your-face dancehall diva I concocted in my head was fun, but a far cry from the punkier and more subdued performer who commanded the stage. In front of an intimate crowd of about 90 at Brighton Music Hall (it was a Wednesday, after all), the New Zealand native was all nervous smiles as she opened her set with a song off of her self-titled debut album called “Back of the Van.” Continue reading
Seeing The War on Drugs live for a second time was way more gratifying than my first time around. Granted, I did get a one-on-one interview with lead singer Adam Granduciel moments before their headlining show at Brighton Music Hall last year. However, audience members were scarce and those who were present didn’t exude the enthusiasm I highly anticipated.
But at their recent Middle East show, they played to an almost sold out crowd. Granduciel graciously dedicated the show to his parents, who were in the audience because they are in fact Boston natives. Opening with the pulsating lead single off of Slave Ambient (“Baby Missiles”), it was clear that The War On Drugs had every intention of crowd-pleasing while effortlessly displaying stoic musicianship. Blazing through tracks like “Comin’ Through,” “Brothers,” “It’s Your Destiny,” and my personal favorite “Taking the Farm,” the crowd jovially danced and sang along as they proved to be a refreshing variation of all ages. The War On Drugs possess a live energy that went from pure excitement to soothing calmness–a dynamic that will ensure an even larger crowd the next time they come to town.
“Genre-busting release from schizoid auteurs”
The Go! Team, a musical representation of ADD since 2004, have returned with Rolling Blackouts, their third LP in eight years. Unsurprisingly, the 13 tracks are all over the map, running the gamut from ’60s-era pop to hip-hop and electro. Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast contributes her sun-fueled vocals to the jangly, upbeat single “Buy Nothing Day.” Other album standouts include “T.O.R.N.A.D.O.,” an abrasive, big beat rocker in true Go! Team style and the doo-wop throwback “Ready To Go Steady.”
There are even some instrumental tracks, such as the piano-led and aptly titled “Lazy Poltergeist.” In the future it would be nice to see what The Go! Team can accomplish when they narrow their musical focus and choose to go deep instead of wide, but for now there is no denying the impressive range of this creative collective.
Produced by the Go! Team and Gareth Parton // Additional mixing by Sam Williams